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NICE: Hundreds of diabetic children to avoid finger-prick testing through two technologies

By May 12, 2023No Comments

For the first time new guidance from NICE recommends the use of real-time continuous glucose monitoring (rtCGM) or intermittently scanned glucose monitoring (isCGM) devices for some children living with type 2 diabetes who are currently using finger prick testing and insulin therapy.

NICE’s committee was told that children being offered the technology would be subjected to the ‘burdensome’, ‘tiring’, and ‘stressful’ task of finger prick testing several times a day, and instead technology could automate this process.

The devices have already been recommended for children with type 1 diabetes.

The technologies give a continuous stream of real-time information on a smartphone allowing better/quicker management of the condition.

A sensor is attached discreetly to the body to monitor current and previous glucose levels. It also shows a prediction of where the glucose levels are headed meaning they can inject themselves with insulin to stabilise their levels if necessary.

If a patient or their family has a preference for which technology they wish to use, they could opt for an intermittently scanned glucose monitoring (isCGM) device – also known as flash monitoring – as an alternative to real-time devices, picking the technology that will work best for them.

Research has found both real-time and flash devices help a person in maintaining optimal blood sugar control.

The recommendation comes following changes to NICE’s guideline on the diagnosis and management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and young people published on 11 May.

The guideline committee has also recommended the technology is offered to children and young people with type 2 diabetes, if they:

  • have a need, condition or disability (including a mental health need, learning disability or cognitive impairment) that means they cannot monitor their blood glucose by finger prick testing
  • would otherwise be advised to self-measure at least 8 times a day
  • have recurrent or severe low blood sugar levels
  • have impaired blood sugar awareness.

Health Minister Helen Whately said:

“Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children, many of whom face the constant stress of needing to monitor their blood glucose levels by finger prick testing – often multiple times a day – just to stay healthy and avoid complications.


“Offering children glucose monitoring devices will relieve some of this burden on hundreds of children and empower them to manage their condition more easily.”